Magazine Patents (Class 221/242)
  • Patent number: 10220997
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a cutlery dispenser for dispensing wrapped cutlery. The cutlery dispenser may include a wrapped cutlery band comprising a plurality of cutlery packets separably connected to one another in a serial manner. The cutlery dispenser also may include a nozzle assembly configured to allow the cutlery packets to be dispensed therethrough. The present disclosure also provides a method for dispensing wrapped cutlery. The method may include the step of providing a cutlery dispenser comprising a nozzle assembly and a wrapped cutlery band, wherein the wrapped cutlery band comprises a plurality of cutlery packets separably connected to one another in a serial manner. The method also may include the step of dispensing the cutlery packets through the nozzle assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2019
    Assignee: GPCP IP HOLDINGS LLC
    Inventors: Shawn A. Oakes, Abby C. Case
  • Patent number: 9418502
    Abstract: A commodity storage device has commodity storage columns defining respective commodity storage passages, in each of which commodities are stored upright in a line. The commodity storage device includes first gate members, each of which is provided turnably in such a manner as to enter and retreat from the corresponding commodity storage passage; second gate members, each of which is provided so as to be able to turn in conjunction with the corresponding first gate member in such a manner as to enter and in conjunction with the corresponding first gate member in such a manner as to enter and retreat from the corresponding commodity storage passage; and flapper members, each of which is provided turnably on a side wall forming the corresponding commodity storage passage in such a manner as to enter and retreat form the commodity storage passage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2016
    Assignee: FUJI ELECTRIC CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Yoshio Yasaka
  • Patent number: 8960496
    Abstract: The present invention is concerned with a basket processing apparatus that includes a basket storage portion in a form of a horizontal load rail (2). A plurality of slide storage baskets (4) can be located in series on the rail (2). Each basket is “side loading” and the side loading aperture of each basket can be selectively covered by a slide retaining bar (6). When the baskets (4) are placed on the load rail (2) (e.g. by hooking or clipping the baskets onto the rail), the basket can be moved along the horizontal rail by a basket moving means. The arrangement of the rail and the basket moving means is such that the baskets can be pushed together and move as a “train”. Baskets moved to the pick-up end (12) of the rail can then be removed from the rail and processed. A vertical lift mechanism can be used to remove the basket and transport it to a processing device, for example a coverslipper.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Thermo Shandon Ltd
    Inventors: John Temple, Ian Kerrod, Alan Prile, Roger Smith, Stephen Hankey
  • Patent number: 8733586
    Abstract: [Problem] To provide a drug-sorting device for dispensing multiple drugs. [Solution] This drug-sorting device is equipped with multiple receiving parts that have an opening and are arranged side-by-side in the longitudinal direction, a conveyor means for conveying drugs into the respective receiving parts, and a first adjustment means for changing the width of the openings. Said first adjustment means is provided with a rail that extends in the longitudinal direction, multiple partitioning parts that partition two adjacent receiving parts and are slidable along the rail, and a rotatable width adjustment drum. On the width adjustment drum, multiple guide grooves are arranged side-by-side at equal intervals in the longitudinal direction and extend so as not to be parallel to each other in the circumferential direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2014
    Assignee: Nakasu Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tsuyoshi Uno, Hada Hong
  • Patent number: 8556119
    Abstract: A system and method for discharging a selected product into a dispensing chamber of a vending machine are provided. In the system and method of this disclosure, a selected product from a vending machine is received in a product delivery cup. The product delivery cup is moved to a dispensing chamber of the vending machine. Near the dispensing chamber, the product delivery cup moves in a horizontal direction which causes or activates a delivery cup sleeve within the product delivery cup to pivot or move from a non-dispensing position to a dispensing position. The dispensing position of the delivery cup sleeve releases the selected product from the delivery cup sleeve to the dispensing chamber where a consumer is able to access the selected product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2013
    Assignee: Crane Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul Ihn, Marlene Skavnak
  • Patent number: 8469228
    Abstract: A dispenser of containers. A carousel is rotatably mounted to a main frame about a vertical axis of rotation and has a plurality of container compartments arranged around the axis and along the length of the axis. A driver mounted to the main frame rotates the carousel around the axis in a single direction and a lock limits rotation of the carousel in any direction when engaged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2013
    Assignee: SLEEGERS Engineered Products, Inc.
    Inventor: Joseph L. Adams
  • Patent number: 8365950
    Abstract: A medicine dispensing device has a device body (1), shelf members (2) arranged in the vertical directions in the device body (1), and a medicine conveyance member (3) for conveying medicines (D), received in the shelf members (2), on one by one basis from the front face side of the device body (1). A shelf member (2) has cassettes (26) in which medicines (D) are received in line, a pusher (31) for pushing the medicines in the cassettes (26) toward the front face side of the device body (10), and a constant load spring (32) for applying a constant load to the medicines (D) received in the cassettes (26) through the pusher (31). To fill the cassettes (26) with the medicines (D), the shelf member (2) can be pulled out from the front face side of the device body (1) and then positioned by pivoting the shelf member (2) so as to face obliquely downward.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2013
    Assignee: Yuyama Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shoji Yuyama, Hiroyuki Kanda
  • Patent number: 8267491
    Abstract: Apparatus including a vending machine compartment including a dispensing door openable to permit removal of merchandise from the compartment, the compartment being pivotedly connected to a box assembly, and wherein the dispensing door includes a link element that is constrained to move along a track formed in the box assembly such that the dispensing door is not openable at a first portion of the track and is openable at a second portion of the track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2012
    Assignee: Hotel Outsource Management International, Inc.
    Inventor: Eyal Artsiely
  • Patent number: 8235248
    Abstract: Disclosed is an automatic tablet packing apparatus having sliding racks, wherein tablets received in a plurality of tablet cassettes are successively packed on a per dose basis based on a medical prescription. Each of the sliding racks includes a pair of left and right partition walls, a tablet discharge passage to guide the tablets discharged from the tablet cassettes being defined by facing inner surfaces of the left and right partition walls. Cassette pedestals are attached to outer surfaces of the left and right partition walls and in turn, the tablet cassettes are detachably arranged on the cassette pedestals. The left and right partition walls are able to be individually pulled out from a body of the apparatus. As the left or right partition wall is pulled out, the tablet discharge passage is revealed to the outside thus enabling easy cleaning thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: JVM Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Jun-Ho Kim
  • Patent number: 8215520
    Abstract: Systems for deterring theft of retail products. Systems of this invention provide theft deterrent dispensing modules for dispensing products and may incorporate theft deterrent measures including mechanical deterrents, time delays and sound. The dispensing modules may include one or more pusher assemblies for dispensing product. Certain systems of this invention may also include a lockout feature, so that one only pusher assembly may be activated to dispense a product at one time. In some embodiments, a door assembly may be provided as an additional theft deterrent mechanism so that access to additional product not yet dispensed by the pusher assembly is restricted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2012
    Assignee: Rock-Tenn Shared Services, LLC
    Inventors: Roger K. Miller, Paul Dowd, Patrick Davey Shealey
  • Patent number: 8079291
    Abstract: An exemplary fastener feeder includes a pair of guiders, a slot cover and a blocker. The guiders define a sliding slot therebetween. Each guider includes a sloped part and a level part, bodies of the fasteners are capable of being received in the sliding slot, and a head of each fastener is capable of sliding down from the sloped parts and stopping on the level parts. The slot cover defines an opening for providing a path through which a fastener pickup device can pass through and engage with a fastener located on the level parts. The blocker is located below the level parts. When the fastener pickup device moves the fastener head engaged therewith away from the opening and a length of the fastener is greater than a distance between the blocker and the level parts, the fastener is blocked by blocker and disengaged from the fastener pickup device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2011
    Assignees: Hong Fu Jin Precision Industry (ShenZhen) Co., Ltd., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yuan Luo, Hu-Dong Guo
  • Patent number: 7988015
    Abstract: A vending machine includes at least one width-adjustable storage rack, the storage rack having a fixed wall and a movable wall connected to the fixed wall by at least one connecting link; and an adjustment mechanism constructed and adapted to position the movable wall relative to the fixed wall and to thereby vary an interior width between the fixed and movable walls. Two movable walls can be connected to a single fixed wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2011
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Paul L. Mason, II, David A. Sprankle
  • Patent number: 7938245
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for loading a plurality of stacks of currency bills into a currency handling device employing an input receptacle having a first paddle and a second paddle, each paddle being configured to urge one or more stacks of bills towards a front end of the receptacle wherein the relative position of the first and second paddles can be alternated as to which paddle is closer to the front end of the receptacle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2011
    Assignee: Cummins-Allison Corp.
    Inventors: Charles P. Jenrick, Robert J. Klein, Curtis W. Hallowell
  • Patent number: 7905370
    Abstract: A simple, inexpensive, reliable and maintenance-free dispenser in which the stored products are offered automatically on the outside of the dispenser where they can be grasped by a hand without further manipulation. The dispenser includes housings in which the products, stacked in a column, are stored and moved by gravity and, at the base of each housing in front of the first product of the column, outlet orifices are closed by a closing membrane with slits. A slope is provided, in the lower rear part of each housing, to automatically advance the first product a predetermined distance through the outlet orifice so that the product partially emerges and can be grasped by hand on the outside of the dispenser. The dispenser can be used to automatically dispense consumable products, such as drinks, without prepayment, and for all types of industrial, commercial, home and other applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2011
    Inventor: Philippe Leonetti
  • Patent number: 7835819
    Abstract: A device for dispensing items comprises a cabinet having an interior for storing items. A dispenser frame is coupled to the cabinet and is configured to be accessed, such as by pulling the dispenser frame from the cabinet. The dispenser frame includes a plurality of dividers that are configured to hold the plurality of dispensing mechanisms that each hold multiple items within the storage area. Further, the dividers are reconfigurable to permit the arrangement of the dispensing mechanisms to be adjusted. A lockable door is coupled to the front of the cabinet in front of the dispenser frame. The door may be opened to provide access to the interior of the cabinet and to the dispenser frame. A dispense drawer is positioned below the storage area so that items dispensed from the dispensing mechanisms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2010
    Assignee: Omnicell, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Kevin Duncan, Scott L. Kidney, Brian R. Arnold
  • Patent number: 7806293
    Abstract: A shotgun shell storage and dispenser device in the form of a hollow elongated housing to hold the shotgun shells in vertical array, the housing adjusted for loading and dispensing shotgun shells through a loading end of the housing. Shotgun shells are positioned by structural elements on a rear wall of the housing and constant force springs in conjunction with a follower to urge the shotgun shells toward a loading and discharge end of the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2010
    Inventors: Daniel P. Altieri, Andrew M. Truxel
  • Patent number: 7806292
    Abstract: A towelette dispenser is provided with an integrally molded lid. The lid has a central aperture for allowing access to a roll of towelettes maintained within a tub receiving the lid therein. The separation bar bridges the aperture, and provides a rip fence in the form of a fingered thimble that is angled with respect to the lid as a whole. The thimble is offset near one edge of the annular opening so that a user may access the back side thereof to thread an edge of the leading towelette through the thimble without having to remove the lid from the tub. A well is provided in the smaller portion of the aperture and a cap for the lid is provided with a stuffer tab to urge the leading edge of the next towelette into the well when the cap is closed. Barrier caps are also provided to seal the interior of the tub during shipment and storage before the first use of the towelette dispenser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2010
    Inventor: Nelson E. Simkins
  • Patent number: 7793769
    Abstract: The present invention provides a vending machine that converts a force applied from a manual operation means into an electric power, and operates by utilizing the electric power as a source of power. A drive force generation/transmission mechanism includes a generator (45) that generates the electric power by utilizing the force applied from the manual operation means (9) and motors (49-55) driven by the electric power generated by the generator (45). Article moving mechanisms (63-69) are constructed to operate by utilizing the output of the motors (49-55) as the operation source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Assignee: Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takashi Kumabe, Minoru Honjo
  • Patent number: 7735680
    Abstract: A dispensing device and method including a housing defining an opening. A door is movable relative to the housing from a closed position to a maximum open position. The door and the housing defining an access portion of the opening. A tray is disposed within the housing and is supported for movement relative to the housing. The tray is configured to support dispensable items within a plurality of segments of the tray. An access control mechanism is configured to locate the tray relative to the housing to generally align a selected one of the plurality of segments with the opening and also to limit opening movement of the door to limit a size of the access portion to a size of the selected segment if a corresponding position of the door is less than the maximum open position of the door.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2010
    Assignee: Nexiant
    Inventor: Peter Godlewski
  • Patent number: 7684893
    Abstract: A vending machine incorporates a product support and dispensing system including an oscillator and an adjustable bail cap. The oscillator is pivotally mounted at a lower portion of one of a plurality of stack areas provided within the vending machine. The oscillator includes a product retention zone having first and second staging regions, each of which has upper and lower holding elements for retaining a product containers in pre-vend positions. The adjustable bail cap is detachably secured to the oscillator and includes an arcuate intermediate portion adapted to selectively support the product containers. The adjustable bail cap can be selectively repositioned to allow the product support and delivery system to accommodate a wide range of container sizes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2010
    Assignee: Dixie-Narco, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul Hayward Kelly, Joshua Robert Powell, Edmund Scott Richardson, John T. Samson, Michael E. Stevens
  • Patent number: 7588165
    Abstract: Trays within a given level of a drum-type vending machine form individual zones, and may be further subdivided into additional individual zones, for which pricing may be separately specified. A vend door for the corresponding level is constrained to allow access to a given zone upon payment of the appropriate amount. More levels and greater flexibility in pricing and product selection are thus enabled, together with greater control over vending operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2009
    Assignee: Crane Co.
    Inventors: James B. Prichard, Mark R. Henning, Douglas M. Mingo
  • Patent number: 7571024
    Abstract: A device for dispensing items comprises a cabinet having an interior for storing items. A dispenser frame is coupled to the cabinet and is configured to be accessed, such as by pulling the dispenser frame from the cabinet. The dispenser frame includes a plurality of dividers that are configured to hold the plurality of dispensing mechanisms that each hold multiple items within the storage area. Further, the dividers are reconfigurable to permit the arrangement of the dispensing mechanisms to be adjusted. A lockable door is coupled to the front of the cabinet in front of the dispenser frame. The door may be opened to provide access to the interior of the cabinet and to the dispenser frame. A dispense drawer is positioned below the storage area so that items dispensed from the dispensing mechanisms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2009
    Assignee: Omnicell, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Kevin Duncan, Scott L. Kidney, Brian R. Arnold
  • Patent number: 7461760
    Abstract: A battery dispenser and a refill for a battery dispenser are provided. In one embodiment the battery dispenser includes a disk that supports a plurality of batteries, a cover that has an opening, a grip ring that rotates the disk to align the batteries with the opening of the cover, and a push element capable of advancing batteries from inside the cover to a landing external to the cover. The disk rotates relative to the grip ring between a load position and a dispensing position, and the disk is removable from the grip ring when the disk is in the load position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2008
    Assignee: Eveready Battery Company, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark A. Ferguson, Todd B. Abernethy, Jon Gauthier, John M. Dupnik
  • Patent number: 7299943
    Abstract: An automatic dispensing tip supply apparatus includes a tip storing box whose bottom has a tapered surface having a tip collecting position in a lowermost part thereof to collect a plurality of inserted dispensing tips in one spot, a tip individually-sending mechanism which lifts up the collected dispensing tips one by one, an outlet to discharge the lifted dispensing tips from the tip storing box, a door mechanism including a door which is turnably supported to close the tip storing box from outside and a tip holding section which is provided on the inside of the door to horizontally hold one of the lifted dispensing tips, and a tip carry-out mechanism including a carry-out conveyor to automatically carry the dispensing tips.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2007
    Inventor: Teruaki Itoh
  • Patent number: 7249689
    Abstract: A clip fastener (10) comprises a housing and a releasable cartridge (12) to hold a plurality of clips (20). There is a truck (14) having a pair of guide rails (50, 52) to receive the clips (20). There is a mechanism (76, 78) to vary the distance between the guide rails (50, 52). There is a ram (68) to )move a clip (20) along the track (14). There is a depressor (90) to slightly open the loops.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2007
    Inventor: John E Hakala
  • Patent number: 7246719
    Abstract: A vending machine includes at least one width-adjustable storage rack, the storage rack having a fixed wall and a movable wall connected to the fixed wall by at least one connecting link; and an adjustment mechanism constructed and adapted to position the movable wall relative to the fixed wall and to thereby vary an interior width between the fixed and movable walls. Two movable walls can be connected to a single fixed wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2007
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Paul L. Mason, II, David A. Sprankle
  • Patent number: 7232041
    Abstract: A battery dispenser and a refill for a battery dispenser are provided. In one embodiment the battery dispenser includes a housing that has an opening, a landing, and a push element capable of advancing batteries from inside the housing to the landing external to the housing. The position of at least one of the push element and the landing is adjustable to enable the battery dispenser to dispense batteries that are one of at least two distinct physical sizes. A refill for the battery dispenser includes a base, a plurality of batteries disposed on the base and a retainer that contacts the batteries and is connected to the base. The refill base can cooperate with the dispenser to adjust the height of the landing or the push element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2007
    Assignee: Eveready Battery Company
    Inventors: Mark A. Ferguson, Richard H. Chapman, Todd B. Abernethy, Jon Gauthier, John M. Dupnik
  • Patent number: 7228988
    Abstract: A medicine supply apparatus to discharge a medicine into packing paper having a nozzle for discharging a medicine from a tablet case and a shutter rotatably provided in the nozzle for opening/closing a medicine drop path. The shutter includes a first rotatable shutter plate of a size capable of closing the inside of the nozzle, a second shutter plate swingably connected to the tip of the first shutter plate, and a guide for swinging the second shutter plate in a direction opposite to the direction of rotation of the first shutter plate in a final stage of the medicine discharge while the first shutter plate is opened. The tip of the second shutter plate is located in a position to narrow an outlet of the medicine drop path when the first shutter plate is opened.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2007
    Assignees: Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd, Sanyo Electric Biomedical Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Atsuo Inamura
  • Patent number: 7134571
    Abstract: A napkin dispenser has a container body for holding a stack of napkins, and a pair of interchangeable face plates each connectable to the container body. One of the face plates has a first elongated dispensing opening exposing a bottom region of the napkin stack, for one-by-one dispensing, and the other face plate has a second elongated dispensing opening exposing an edge region of the napkin stack, for dispensing a plurality of napkins simultaneously.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2006
    Assignee: SCA Tissue North America LLC.
    Inventors: Robert C Hochtritt, Andrew M Conger
  • Patent number: 7100795
    Abstract: A vending machine includes an adjustable channel assembly for varying the depth of a product stack area within the vending machine. Preferably two adjustable channel assemblies are mounted to a column wall to support a rear spacer wall that defines a back portion of the stack area. The rear spacer wall is selectively movable fore-to-aft in order to permit the stack area to be customized in order to accommodate various sized bottles and cans.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2006
    Assignee: Maytag Corporation
    Inventors: Paul Hayward Kelly, Aron Philip Lewis, Joshua Robert Powell, Edmund Scott Richardson, John T. Samson
  • Patent number: 7073543
    Abstract: An object of the invention is to provide a medicine feeding apparatus in which it is possible to prevent a medicine from being broken by well absorbing and reducing a kinetic energy at a time of discharging the medicine even in the case that a downsizing and a densification are promoted for making a discharge speed of the medicine higher, and it is possible to efficiently guide the medicine to an outlet portion of a hopper. Further, the medicine feeding apparatus is provided with a main body, a plurality of tablet cases receiving medicines, a chute received in the main body and through which the medicine discharged from the tablet case comes down, a hopper received in the main body, provided in correspondence to a lower side of the chute and collecting the medicines, and a filling apparatus received in the main body and filling the medicines collected by the hopper in a drug packing paper or a container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2006
    Assignees: Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd., Sanyo Electric Biomedical Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Koichi Kobayashi, Takashi Mori
  • Patent number: 6975922
    Abstract: A device for dispensing items comprises a cabinet having an interior for storing items. A dispenser frame is coupled to the cabinet and is configured to be accessed, such as by pulling the dispenser frame from the cabinet. The dispenser frame includes a plurality of dividers that are configured to hold the plurality of dispensing mechanisms that each hold multiple items within the storage area. Further, the dividers are reconfigurable to permit the arrangement of the dispensing mechanisms to be adjusted. A lockable door is coupled to the front of the cabinet in front of the dispenser frame. The door may be opened to provide access to the interior of the cabinet and to the dispenser frame. A dispense drawer is positioned below the storage area so that items dispensed from the dispensing mechanisms fall into the dispense drawer, where they may be accessed by pulling open the dispense drawer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2005
    Assignee: Omnicell, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Kevin Duncan, Scott L. Kidney, Brian R. Arnold
  • Patent number: 6805342
    Abstract: In accordance with printer-control method and printer-control apparatus according to the present invention, in speed control for a paper-supply motor from the time when a paper-supply roller starts a paper-supply operation to the time when an upper end of a printing paper abuts against a paper-feed roller and a driven roller thereof and then the paper-supply motor is stopped with the upper end portion of the printing paper being nipped by the paper-feed roller and the driven roller thereof, when a difference between a target speed and a current speed in a constant speed section under feedback control becomes equal to or larger than a predetermined value, a proportional gain coefficient used for speed control calculation is changed to a value which is larger than an usual value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2004
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Toshiyuki Takahara, Tetsuji Takeishi
  • Patent number: 6755323
    Abstract: An adjustable frame for dispensing stackable items. The adjustable frame includes a first panel having a first edge, a first-panel-dispensing-end, and a first major surface. The major surface is configured to guide stacked items prior to dispensing. A second panel has a second edge, a second-panel-dispensing-end, and a second major surface. The second major surface is configured to, in combination with the first major surface, guide stacked items prior to dispensing. An adjustable panel has a third edge and a third major surface. The third edge is detachably securable in one of a plurality of locations on the second major surface of the second panel. The adjustable panel can be positioned proximate to any one of the plurality of locations to accommodate items of various sizes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2004
    Assignee: Accu-Sort Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Theodore C. Haven, Larry Brown
  • Patent number: 6662968
    Abstract: A product dispenser of the type adapted to release articles from vertical stacks is disclosed, which is configured to dispense a variety of articles whether in bulk or singularly. The present vending apparatus provides a main housing that is configured to receive interchangeable release mechanisms, with each mechanism dependent upon whether the dispensed article(s) is generally flat or of the small round type distributed by bulk similar to candies. The bottom surface of the product compartment defined on the top of main housing is configured to allow variability in the type of products released from the vertically mounted product cartridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2003
    Inventor: Matthew J. Clements
  • Patent number: 6601687
    Abstract: A currency handling device for rapidly processing a plurality of currency bills comprises an input receptacle adapted to receive the currency bills to be processed, a plurality of output receptacles adapted to receive the bills after the bills have been processed, a transport mechanism adapted to transport the bills, one at a time, along a transport path from the input receptacle to the plurality of output receptacles, an evaluating unit that is adapted to determine information concerning the bills, and a controller. The evaluation unit includes at least one sensor positioned along the transport path between the input receptacle and the plurality of output receptacles. The controller is adapted to operate the currency handling device according to a mode of operation wherein the mode of operation designates the output receptacle to which each of the bills are transported based on the determined information concerning the bill.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2003
    Assignee: Cummins-Allison Corp.
    Inventors: Charles P. Jenrick, Robert J. Klein, Curtis W. Hallowell
  • Patent number: 6513677
    Abstract: An improved method and apparatus for vending products, and particularly beverage containers, of varied sizes, shapes and configurations without dropping or subjecting the vended product to damaging impact forces are disclosed. The products to be vended are aligned in selectable ordered queues within a vending machine that can include a transparent front panel. A robotic carriage assembly using rack and pinion assemblies moves in positive non-vibratory manner along an X-Y plane in the machine, captures the selected product from its queue and smoothly transports the product to a product delivery port conveniently located close to hip level. The carriage assembly uses unique product escapement and capture mechanisms to smoothly slide the related product from its queue into the carriage. Power door and safety lock features at the delivery port are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2003
    Assignee: Gross-Given Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Steven W. Sorensen, James E. Skavnak, Thomas F. Gotich, Scott Hudis, Joseph A. Lotspeich
  • Publication number: 20020084280
    Abstract: An adjustable frame for dispensing stackable items. The adjustable frame includes a first panel having a first edge, a first-panel-dispensing-end, and a first major surface. The major surface is configured to guide stacked items prior to dispensing. A second panel has a second edge, a second-panel-dispensing-end, and a second major surface. The second major surface is configured to, in combination with the first major surface, guide stacked items prior to dispensing. An adjustable panel has a third edge and a third major surface. The third edge is detachably securable in one of a plurality of locations on the second major surface of the second panel. The adjustable panel can be positioned proximate to any one of the plurality of locations to accommodate items of various sizes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 21, 2001
    Publication date: July 4, 2002
    Applicant: Accu-Sort Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Theodore C. Haven, Larry Brown
  • Patent number: 6398000
    Abstract: An apparatus for transferring a plurality of documents from a first compartment to a second compartment. The apparatus comprises a plunger assembly having a paddle adapted to contact the documents, and at least one outwardly extending arm hingedly connected to the plunger assembly. A gate is disposed between the first compartment and the second compartment forming a document supporting surface. The gate has an open position and a closed position. At least one lever extends from the gate, the lever being in a first position when the gate is in the closed position and the lever being in a second position when the gate is in the open position. The gate moves from the closed position to the open position when the paddle urges the documents against the gate from the first compartment towards the second compartment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Assignee: Cummins-Allison Corp.
    Inventors: Charles P. Jenrick, Matthew L. Anderson, Robert J. Klein, Curtis W. Hallowell, Mark C. Munro, Cherrie L. Brown
  • Patent number: 6264060
    Abstract: An auxiliary dispenser for a merchandise vending machine of the type comprising a cabinet, a delivery bin at the front of the cabinet, near the bottom, and means in the cabinet above the bin for dispensing merchandise to the bin, the dispenser adapted to be mounted behind the bin, below the dispensing means. The dispenser comprises a bank of at least one generally inverted-J shaped magazine for holding articles. The bank is preferably pivotally mounted at its upper end to pivot upwardly to facilitate filling. Each magazine has a generally vertically extending straight portion and a forwardly extending curved dispensing portion. A spring-biased guide member urges articles in the magazine upwardly toward the curved dispensing portion, the guide member can be releasably locked at the end of the magazine to facilitate filling. An ejector member is mounted for reciprocal motion generally transverse to the magazine to push an article upwardly out an opening in the top of the magazine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2001
    Assignee: Crane Co.
    Inventors: Gerald J. Podgorny, Leonard A. Ficken, Frank W. Krockenberger
  • Patent number: 6138868
    Abstract: An ampule feeder which can discharge ampules one by one with high efficiency without the possibility of clogging. It includes an ampule container having a bottom plate pivotable in one direction. Ampules stored randomly in the container are moved onto an inclined top surface of an ampule receiver and raised. When the ampule receiver rises to its highest level, the ampules slide on its surface and drop onto a conveyor belt of a dispenser provided outside of the side wall of the ampule container. Ampules are thus discharged by the dispenser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2000
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yuyama Seisakusho
    Inventors: Shoji Yuyama, Naoki Koike, Yasuhiro Shigeyama
  • Patent number: 6012604
    Abstract: An article dispensing device is incorporated into an automatic vending machine capable of storing articles having a cylindrical or substantially cylindrical shape resembling bottles or cans in stacks, and of dispensing the articles in response to a dispensation command. The article dispensing device has a fixed plate serving as a wall defining an article dispensing passage, and holding a dispensing mechanism for dispensing the articles one at a time, and a movable unit disposed opposite to the fixed plate. The movable unit has a frame attached to the body of the automatic vending machine, a shiftable plate supported on the side walls of the frame by pivot pins fitted in slots formed respectively in the side walls and provided with a positioning projection projecting from at least one end thereof so as to engage with steps of a stepped positioning edge formed in the side wall selectively according to the diameter of the article passing through the dispensing passage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2000
    Assignee: F.I.C., Inc.
    Inventors: Yutaka Takahashi, Hisashi Funakoshi
  • Patent number: 5960989
    Abstract: The lid dispenser of the present invention has four rods which extend from the front to the rear and which support and guide the lids. The rods are connected at the front to individual lid dispensing pagers, and are supported at the rear in arcuate tracks in an adjustment ring. The front pagers are also mounted in an adjustment ring with arcuate tracks. Both adjustment rings have serrated or ridged cylindrical edges, which allow the click-positioning of the rings at a desired position to force the rods and pagers into an evenly spaced radial position. Three plastic claws are flexibly supported on a support member which is mounted for front-to-back movement on cover guide rods. Each claw member is connected by flexible bands to positionable fasteners which are fixed in radial slots in the support member which allow some radial movement of the claws as they engage a cover. By use of such a dispenser in convenience stores and the like contact by customers with lids other than those dispensed is avoided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignee: Acry Fab, Inc.
    Inventor: Jeffrey E. Gunderson
  • Patent number: 5931341
    Abstract: An automated, fully adjustable high speed lid dropper (10) including an upright set of guide rods (26) for supporting a stack of lids (12) above a conveyor (16), a set of three feed screws (62) for capturing the lowest lid at the bottom of stack (12) and feeding it onto a can positioned therebelow, a pivotal crank arm (64) for each feed screw for radially adjusting the feed screw, and a height adjustment mechanism (22) for vertically adjusting the position of the feed screws above the cans.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 3, 1999
    Assignee: Wild Horse Industrial Corporation
    Inventor: Karl Heinz Bittermann
  • Patent number: 5894942
    Abstract: A gravity-feed flow rack apparatus for multiple articles with rack modules arranged vertically.The rack apparatus include main module, front and rear auxiliary modules having article conveyance skid rails, insert joint for joining said modules, tiltable stopper means for serially advancing articles on said module, and control means performing control of desired operation condition of the rack apparatus.The rack apparatus may be a constructionally changeable in desired number and spaces of the rack modules in which flexible change is desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1999
    Assignee: Yazaki Industrial Chemical Co Ltd.
    Inventors: Muneharu Miyashita, Masuo Shimura
  • Patent number: 5857587
    Abstract: An automatic fastener supplier includes a frame having a receiving section for receiving fasteners. A track is removably and partially mounted in the receiving section. The track includes a gap defined therein for receiving shanks of the fasteners and an upper open edge for retaining heads of the fasteners. A fastener feeding device is mounted in the receiving section and is vertically movable for feeding fasteners in the receiving section onto the track. A main driving device is provided for driving the fastener feeding device to move vertically. A stop is mounted to the front end of the track for preventing further forward movement of the fastener. A track supporting device has a supporting member for supporting the track yet allowing insertion and removal of the track. A position deciding device is mounted to the supporting member for adjusting a longitudinal position of the track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1999
    Inventor: Yoshitake Ota
  • Patent number: 5799823
    Abstract: A device for releasing the products in a vending machine includes a structure for containing the stack of products consisting in a front plate (1) and a rear plate (2) to which two flanks (3a, 3b) and two walls (4a, 4b) are secured, a pair of rocker levers (5a, 5b) and a revolving basket (6) being rotatably mounted inside structure for alternately supporting the two staggered columns forming the stack of products and for releasing the products. The driving components, which impart a unidirectional revolving motion to the basket (6), and the controlling components of the rockers (5a, 5b), which consist in a pair of cams (14) which rotate at half the revolving speed of the basket (6), are positioned outside said structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 1, 1998
    Assignee: Vendo Italy S.p.A.
    Inventor: Antonio Feltrin
  • Patent number: 5791516
    Abstract: A dispensing apparatus and method for vending machines includes in one embodiment vertical vending from one or more columns. Each column is defined by two walls. A triggering mechanism at the bottom of the column is actuated by the rotation of a rod from the top of the column. The triggering mechanism blocks items placed along the column from being dropped out the bottom of the column to a delivery area but also controls when such dispensation occurs. The configuration allows items of different sizes, shapes, and types to be loaded into the column and therefore allows the column to be easily adapted to dispense a wide variety of items.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 11, 1998
    Assignee: Fawn Engineering Corporation
    Inventors: Francis A. Wittern, Jr., Paul L. Hawkins, James L. Denato, Francis A. Wittern, III
  • Patent number: 5788116
    Abstract: The invention provides an adjustable tray dispenser having a plurality of tray guides for individually dispensing trays from a tray stock. Each of the tray guides is driven by a flexible drive shaft coupled to a gear box. The flexible drive shafts enable the independent adjustment of each tray guide with respect to each other, the dispenser, and the tray stock. A motor coupled to the gear box provides variable speed rotational motion to the flexible drive shafts. Each of the tray guides has a dispensing head that includes a timing adjustment mechanism. The timing adjustment mechanism enables the synchronization of all of the dispensing heads prior to tray dispensing. The independent adjustment ability of the tray guides enables use of the system with any size or shape tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1998
    Assignee: FMV Machine Works, Inc.
    Inventor: Josef Bednar
  • Patent number: 5733093
    Abstract: A stack tube type feeder is designed to be versatile to dispense a variety of parts. The part dependent components of the feeder can be either selectively interchanged or adjusted to accommodate a wider variety of parts. Specifically, a part feeder includes a tube guide assembly for holding a plurality of part supply tubes. Within the tube guide assembly removable front and rear stops prevent longitudinal movement of the part supply tube in the feed position. Included is a removably mounted guide track element having a guide track as part of the feed guide path. The changeover mechanism of the present invention includes removable front and rear tube supports for supporting the part supply tube in the feed position, and removable and adjustable front and rear singulator elements for supporting a next fed tube in a staging position. Preferably, a pusher mechanism includes a pusher tape and pusher element which are driven to advance the parts from the part supply tubes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 31, 1998
    Assignee: Robodyne Corporation
    Inventors: Troy T. Palm, Tim J. Hartman, Kevin J. Barr